Content originally published December 15, 2015
(MOSCOW) United States foreign policy in the Middle East is failing badly because it is built upon a futile quest for military and economic domination, according to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.
Speaking as part of a panel of foreign policy experts at a forum organized by the RT news network, Stein said that solutions to problems such as jihadi terrorism would require Russia and the United States to work together, shedding outdated cold war attitudes that prevented collaboration on problems facing both nations.
"The Obama Administration's obsession with toppling the government in Damascus is fundamentally inconsistent with winning the fight against ISIS," Stein asserted. "US pursuit of regime change in Libya, Iraq, and Syria created the chaos that promotes power grabs by extremist militias. Many of the weapons we are sending into Syria to arm anti-government militias are winding up in the hands of ISIS. This isn't a clever foreign policy - it's disastrous militarism."
Stein noted that the United States, and to a lesser extent Russia, are wasting enormous sums of money on military spending that is not increasing the security of either nation.
"The United States is now embarking on a $1 trillion program to update its nuclear weaponry while we are slashing programs to fight hunger, address homelessness, and provide economic security for our people," Stein noted. "In Russia also, money runs short for critical needs because of the heavy burden of military spending. Imagine how much better off the world would be if our two nations could lead the way for the major powers to reduce the size of our military establishments. We could invest the money saved in something truly beneficial - such as job creation to expand renewable energy and stop climate change. Ending our multinational fossil fuel addiction will make disastrous wars for oil obsolete in the first place."
Stein attended a dinner Thursday night, sitting at the table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "While the objective of that dinner was not to engage in serious discussions, Putin did appear to respond in his formal remarks to the call for greater dialogue and collaboration made by myself and three other political figures on the foreign policy panel earlier that day.
Putin noted, "What I would like to say, something really unexpected, when I was watching this material. When I was listening to your comments, politicians from other countries, you know what I caught myself thinking about? I agree with them, on many issues."
Stein continued, "Tomorrow I will meet with the foreign affairs chair of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, to explore whether Russia would be receptive to a more collaborative approach to foreign policy that I have been talking about in my presidential campaign. Citizens of our countries and the world deserve a new commitment to collaborative dialogue between our governments to avert disastrous wars for geopolitical domination, destruction of the climate, and cascading injustices that promote violence and terrorism. Opening such a dialogue would be a first step towards real progress on the interlocking threats that both nations - and the world - are facing."